Clara is a twelve-year-old in Illinois who discovers a note asking for help inside a purse she bought at the mall. Yuming is a thirteen-year-old in Hebei Province, China, who is forced to work in a factory alongside other children, and she wrote the note. What can two people possibly do to change things before it's too late?
This book brings light to issues around consumerism and child labor. Clara is dealing with the loss of her older sister, who was adopted from China, so the "threads" connect families and memories, in addition to people from across the globe. Polonsky writes in alternating perspectives with an earnestness and sensitivity, and while it's not a humorous book, it's paced to keep the reader turning pages.
"There were rules and lies, all to be memorized. 'Older one,' he said, turning to me. 'If anyone inquires, you are now fifteen. How old are you?'
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